Child, community and educational psychology (M4)

Course Overview 

As part of the national requirement, this particular three year, highly regarded professional doctorate training course in educational psychology is uniquely positioned in an NHS Mental Health Trust. Our course is unique in including a focus on the promotion of children and young people's emotional well being; the application of psycho-therapeutic models for support and intervention with families and other professionals; and establishing joint working with mental health services, schools and other professional agencies. We provide a comprehensive programme enabling you to work as an educational psychologist after qualification.

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Professional Doctorate
Course Length 
3 years
Course Type 
On site
Study Attendance 
Full - time
Who is this course for?

This course is for students seeking professional applied psychology training, who have:

  • completed an honours degree in psychology (or BPS recognised equivalent)
  • gained sufficient and relevant experience of working with children and young people to form a basis for their training and on going development


It is important to understand the roles and nature of the work of an educational psychologist before applying for courses or embarking on training. This is a demanding but rewarding professional role suited to those psychologists interested in promoting positive development and achievement for all children and young people but particularly those who may be vulnerable because of additional and special educational needs. Applicants are encouraged to find out about this through making links with educational psychologists, examining research and reading on national expectations.

Course outline

The course consists of the following elements:

  • experiential learning
  • lectures, seminars and tutorials
  • professional placement experience in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Educational Psychology Services
  • psychodynamic and systemic psychological frameworks
  • group learning
  • individual and group supervision
  • research


Year one

All trainees follow the British Psychological Society (BPS) core curriculum which is in addition supplemented by two distinctive “clinical” modules (*). The course modules are as follows:

  • assessment and intervention/child development (CHAI)
  • professional in context *
  • research
  • psychological frameworks *

Year one focuses on the individual child or family with a one day a week placement in a CAMHS team working alongside experienced multidisciplinary practitioners, and a placement in an educational psychology service supervised by Tavistock Fieldwork Tutors.


Years two and three

In years two and three, trainees secure professional placements in educational psychology services where they will spend 130 days per year. There is also two days a week spent at the Tavistock where the course modules continue.

The focus of year two is on groups, and trainees are required to facilitate either an adult or a children’s group as part of their learning under supervision.

In year three the professional placement continues and trainees spend one day a week at the Tavistock.

The focus of year three is on organisations and trainees are required to carry out organisational development work in their placement supervised by Tavistock staff.

Over this two year period, trainees are required to complete a piece of action research of relevance to educational psychology practice in their placement. This is supervised by Tavistock staff and will be submitted as a 40,000 word thesis in May of the third year.

Click here to view the agreed SEEL statement on Professional Placements in Years 2 and 3.

Why study with us?

This comprehensive training, including a clinical and therapeutic emphasis, enables graduates to make a successful transition to the role of applied psychologist working in schools, local communities and multi-agency contexts. You will be able to deliver the core service expectations of consultation, assessment and intervention for complex additional and special educational needs, research, evaluation and staff training.


Progress is assessed through written assignments, responses to supervision, analysis of applied psychological skills and competencies and a doctoral dissertation.


This professional training has a substantial daily attendance requirement at the Tavistock Centre or on professional plaement with services. This can extend beyond the usual term start and end dates.


This course operates over three years. There are no alternative awards if the course is not completed.

Academic award

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a Professional Doctorate, accredited by the University of Essex allowing you to practice as an Educational Psychologist as long as you remain eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Entry requirements

To access this course you will have the minimum of a psychology degree (with Honours, preferably 2.1 or above) or a qualifying conversion course or Masters degree, with eligibility for the British Psychological Society (BPS) Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). You can check your eligibility with the BPS. You must have achieved eligibility before the application deadline. If the qualification that grants you eligibility for GBC is not from the UK or Ireland you will also be required to enter your BPS membership number at application stage.

You should be able to demonstrate that you have gained a minimum of one year’s full-time (37 hours a week or the equivalent if part-time) experience of working with children and young people, usually within an educational, health, social care, youth justice, childcare or community setting by the application deadline. This experience might include teaching, learning and behaviour mentoring, being a teaching assistant, social worker, speech and language therapist, assistant psychologist.

This mimimum experience can be made up of all paid employment, or at least nine months full-time paid employment (or the equivalent if part-time) and the equivalent of three months sustained relevant voluntary experience.

Any additional paid or voluntary experience over the one year minimum requirement should also be included in applications as the length, depth and range of experience may be taken into consideration in selection.


The vast majority of places for Educational Psychology Training in England are funded through a national scheme. An application is made jointly for a place on courses of choice and the funding for the fees for the course and subsistence through a bursary fund in the first year. Course fees are paid in the second and third year and currently the subsistence bursary is paid by a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service where a trainee secures a placement.

To be eligible for a funded place on the course you will need to be eligible to work in England for the duration of the course and for at least two years after completing the course. (If you are uncertain of your status, you can contact the Home Office: UK Border Agency for advice. You will also need to be ordinarily resident in the UK. All Non-UK applicants must be living the UK at the time of application and be able to provide proof of residency. Applicants who intend to come to the UK to train do not meet the criteria of ‘ordinarily resident in the UK'.

Applicants who meet entry criteria for the course but are non UK resident or who do not secure a funded place may be considered on a self funding basis, if they meet all selection criteria. Places are limited.

Different admissions procedures apply to students from EU countries and applicants  from non EU countries not ordinarily resident in the UK can contact the course administrator to discuss fees and options that may be available.  In some cases students would be responsible for establishing their own professional placements in their ordinarily resident countries.

Course dates

The academic year will begin on Monday 26th September 2016.

Please see term dates for full information.

Open dates for applications

Applications are to be made via the AEP website.

Closing date for applications for UK residents

Applications for the 2016/17 academic year are now closed.

Applications for non-UK residents

Potential applicants from EU and non EU countries and not ordinarily resident in the UK can make enquiries at any time and if appropriate submit an application.

What students say?

Students are extremely positive about their professional training at the Tavistock. They value the fact that this educational psychology course is unique with its focus on psychotherapeutic and systemic models.


The course is delivered in partnership with the University of Essex who provide accreditation and help maintain high quality standards for the student learning and research experience, and Educational Psychology Services mainly in London and the South East of England who provide professional placement opportunties.